Youth performing in our Summer Showcase
Conversations with teachers, principals and other arts organization leaders are pointing to one disturbing trend - younger children developing unhealthy habits in part due to excessive and/or unmonitored screen time. Global Girls believes in science and understands that the arts can be a powerful tool to begin versing that trend. Neuroscience research has shown us that early childhood is a time of tremendous brain development. The young brain literally changes shape and size in response to everything encountered in this early period of development. New environment, life experiences, caretakers and relationships can all affect the way complex brain circuits are wired.
While our target market continues to be African American girls, ages 6 to 18, we’re expanding programs to engage girls and boys as young as three. “My First Show” is now in three south side Chicago public schools and will expand to seven additional locations by the end of the year. Global Girls is piloting this performing arts program in daycare settings and kindergartens using dance, theatre and music to teach communication, team-building and social/emotion skills. There’s also a parent component wherein parents have fun learning effective communication skills, emotional regulation and healthy lifestyle skills, all tools that will help them personally as well as in their roles as parents. We believe that exposing children and parents to the arts early will whet their appetites and prepare them to participate in community-based arts programs including Global Girls.
We trust that many of those children will continue in Global Girls and, one day, travel internationally with us in arts exchange programs teaching other youth to use their voices for positive change in their communities. We are still on target to travel to Tanzania in February 2022 with eight current program participants ages 14 to 18 and eight staff members.
Marching for "Love" in the community
Five and six year old youth in the summer program